How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?
The identification of special educational needs is built into the school’s approach to monitoring the progress and development of all children. This will be done mainly through formative assessment, on a daily basis and some summative assessment throughout the year. At the end of key stages there are more formal testing arrangements. Children are also given opportunities to feedback on their strengths and achievements, both orally and as they get older by using green pens for self-assessment of their work.
Early identification is beneficial so that effective provision can be put in place to improve the outcomes for a child. A pupil has Special Educational Needs (SEN) where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision. This will be different from, or additional to, that usually available for pupils of the same age.
Class teachers will discuss initial concerns with parents (and Special Educational Needs Coordinator/SENCO); parents are also encouraged to contact class teachers if they have concerns. This two-way approach is very important. This can be done at any time during the year. There are two formal parent consultations during the year, to which older children are invited, as well as an informal open evening, following the annual report. Parents can contact Mrs. Bedwell, the SENCO at any time.
If a child is falling below Age-Related Expectations this will be flagged up as a possible concern and teachers will discuss this at termly progress meetings with the Headteacher, Mrs. Wing. Suitable support or intervention will then be put in place and parents advised accordingly. Children falling below age-related expectations at any time do not necessarily have SEND but it can act as an early indicator.
How will school staff support my child?
The first response to a progress concern is high quality teaching targeted at a child’s area of weakness. There may also be some targeted group intervention for 6-8 weeks aimed at boosting a particular area of Maths, English, Social Skills, Memory Skills and/or Confidence Levels. Where progress continues to be less than expected the teacher, working with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), will assess whether the child has Special Educational Needs (SEN). Parents will be contacted to ascertain their point of view about their child’s learning and progress and will have the opportunity to discuss any additional support that will be given at school and how they can support at home. If further assessment is undertaken the class teacher and/or SENCO will make contact with the parents. This will also be discussed with the child and self-esteem questionnaires can be used to help gain a child’s view.
Having agreed group or individual support, this will usually be delivered by our learning support assistants under the direction of the class teacher. Sometimes teachers will have a role in delivering some interventions. The Headteacher and Deputy are kept informed of additional support and the impact of that support on learning through progress meetings and the updating of the provision map for that year group. Individuals will also have their profiles annotated using the Inclusion register; a school register of children who have received additional support. Children’s progress is monitored throughout.
Regular meetings are held with the SEN Governor, who reports back on school strategy, including identification of pupils with SEN, additional provision, assessment and monitoring, to the Full Governing Body. SEN updates are shared with the Local Authority School Improvement Partner. The school’s SEN Policy and practice is also evaluated during OFSTED inspections.
How will I know how my child is progressing?
As already mentioned there are reporting arrangements in place for all the children in our school. Teachers are expected to deliver good quality teaching in the classroom, with high aspirations for all. Differentiation within the class is used, before having to introduce additional support (see below). Additional support, over and above standard differentiation, may be given to address low attainment, lack of progress or confidence issues.
A baseline assessment will be taken before the intervention begins and the child’s progress monitored throughout. This may take the form of written/oral tests, confidence chart and formative assessment. Parents will be spoken to prior to the intervention starting and at the end of the programme. Parents of a child receiving 1:1 support may additionally have a daily home/school book and termly progress meetings with the class teacher, Learning Support Assistant (LSA) and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), where necessary. The child will also be given an opportunity to feedback on what has gone well and the challenges that still need to be overcome. This discussion will take the form of; a review of current provision (what is working/what is not working) and a plan for future support. This will also involve the parents giving their views and collating the child’s views, where appropriate.
The school uses internal tracking systems to manage the assessment of the children. The percentages of children performing below Age-Related Expectations are shared with the senior staff and Governors. This data is also used to discuss school progress with the Local Authority and OFSTED during inspection visits.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s need?
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Differentiated work is that which is adapted to all the needs in class and may be presented as different challenges. We do encourage ‘Learning without Limits’ where the children have some choice over the work they decide to do. This means groups are flexible and no child has a ceiling put on their achievements.
The teacher and/or the Learning Support assistant (LSA) may have a focused group that they work with, where individual needs can be addressed. There may be scaffolding in the form of extra information on sheets, technology and practical resources. There may also be 1:1 support in the classroom (usually an LSA) for children with an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan, formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs) to enable that child to access the curriculum more easily.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
In addition to our particular ethos, encompassing the POWERS, (Perseverance, Optimism, Wonder, Evaluation, Reasoning and Social), we have specific systems and procedures in place to support the wellbeing of every child. In addition, we have a nurture room, the Oasis, which has been set up as a dedicated space for children who may find learning challenging in a mainstream classroom. At lunchtimes there is a Games Club which operates for all children in school, as well as our more vulnerable children who can choose to attend on any lunchtime. Many of our Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) are trained Learning Mentors and support children from Years 1-6 with concerns in and out of school. We can also refer to Child and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) if these other interventions fail or the need is greater.
We have numerous trained First Aiders and several staff have received specialist Paediatric First Aid Training and one of these is always on call for the medical room. Medicines are only administered if they are on prescription and a parental consent form has been filled out. We have a disabled toilet and shower.
Please see school policies, including the First Aid Policies, the Managing Medication Policy and the Intimate Care Policy.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school and what training have the staff?
We are constantly striving to deliver the very best education to all our children. We are always looking for training to attend to further our expertise. We have staff trained in ELKLAN (a speech and language programme), WellComm (a speech and language assessment for Early Years), Fischer Family Trust, an intensive reading and writing programme, ELS (Early Literacy Support).
We are part of a cluster of schools committed to delivering services locally, DSPL 6, (Delivering Special Provision Locally). The lead school is The Wroxham in Potters Bar, see link below.
We have close links to special outreach providers, such as Watling View Special School.
For children who demonstrate social and emotional difficulties, we access support from Summerswood Primary Support Base.
Referrals are made by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and in extreme cases, where all other support has been exhausted, to an Educational Psychologist.
We call on other professionals to support specific need, including the School Nurse, a Speech and Language Therapist and an Art Therapist. We also call upon the Local Authority team, known as Integrated Services for Learning, for advice and support for individual cases.
All classes/year groups have a learning support assistant in the classroom in the mornings, with some 1:1 support for our children with education and health care plans (EHCPs). In the afternoon LSAs provide targeted support usually in the form of small group interventions or 1:1 programmes, usually outside the classroom.
If the support in school does not have the impact hoped for, then in consultation with the child and parents, a Single Service Request form will be filled out asking for advice and support from an outside agency. If there is a possible medical issue parents will be encouraged to visit the GP and request a referral to the paediatrician.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning and how will I be involved in discussions and planning for my child’s education?
All children in school receive an annual report in addition to two parent meetings. Any parent of a child having a group intervention should expect to be contacted prior to the start of the intervention and afterwards to discuss progress. Parents of children receiving 1:1 support should expect at least termly meetings and possibly a home/school book to communicate on a weekly basis how a child can be supported at home. At the termly meetings, teachers will show parents what has been working well and what has not, with ideas for future support. Parents will be able to say what they think has been working well and what has not, as will the child and staff working with the child. This forms the review part of the cycle, having engaged in some assessment and before planning the next steps.
There will be opportunities for parents to meet informally at coffee mornings/afternoons hosted at the school by the Headteacher, Deputy Head or SENCO. More formal workshops will be held to explain why some children have barriers to learning and what the school is doing to address these. In addition the SENCO holds regular meetings where parents can discuss their child’s progress and raise any concerns about their learning.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including trips?
It is our policy to include all children in trips and activities outside the classroom, making any adjustments necessary. For example an extra adult can be used to supervise a child 1:1 and coaches can be hired that give access to disabled pupils. All teachers carry out a risk assessment for all the children before embarking on a trip. Very occasionally a child may be prevented from taking part in a trip if the risk to their safety or the other children is deemed to be too great. This would be discussed fully with the parents as necessary.
How accessible is the school site?
The school is accessible by wheelchair apart from the staffroom and small group rooms. There is a stair lift and ramp as well as two disabled toilets (one with a shower).
Who can I contact for further information?
Mrs Hannah Bedwell is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), who can be contacted by telephone 01707 888100 or by email at the firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is a concern about a child’s learning/progress parents should initially contact the class teacher. If a parent then wishes to complain, is not satisfied with the discussion at this level, or needs clarification, they can contact the SENCO.
The school’s SEN Governor is also available for advice and guidance.
At County level, the SEND team is available for further advice and to administer EHC plans. There is also a Hertfordshire Parent Partnership that offers a confidential and impartial personalised service to provide information and advice to parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to enable them to make informed decisions about education and services; telephone number: 01992 555847 or email;
How will the school prepare and support my child in joining the school, transferring to a different key stage or new school?
Any children with special educational needs (SEN) will be visited in their current setting, prior to starting at the school. If there are professionals already involved with the child a meeting will be arranged preferably at school with all involved. Parents are welcome to get in touch with the school and request additional visits or call in for a chat.
All children and parents are given the opportunity to go and visit the new classroom and meet members of staff. Some children are given a transition booklet, which contains photographs of them in their new surroundings and the new members of staff. They discuss this with their learning mentor and can take it home to look at over the holidays.
All year groups hold a transition meeting for parents within the first few weeks of the new term to outline expectations and the organisation within the year group. When transferring from a key stage children spend some time in their new surroundings and are given opportunities to explore the new outdoor area.
Before transferring to a new school or secondary school, parents of children with special educational needs are individually supported in order to make an informed choice. The children also receive targeted transition support in the summer term before they move on.
Meetings are held with the receiving teachers where information can be shared with the new school and additional meetings with the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) from both schools can be arranged.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational Need?
We have an amount identified in the overall budget, called the notional special educational needs (SEN) budget. This money is spent on appropriate resources, funding a full-time emotional literacy support assistant (ELSA), funding specialist help when necessary, ensuring that there is appropriate learning support assistants (LSAs) in class and to carry out interventions, as well as equipping a dedicated nurture room, the Oasis. Pupil premium money is spent on assisting with extra-curricular trips/activities; small group and 1:1 tuition provided by an experienced teacher/LSA. An element of the Sports Premium is used to provide a lunchtime sports coach. For some individuals extra funding can be secured via local cluster groups, although this is minimal.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
The parents and child (where age allows) will be involved in all stages of the discussion and decision making about the type of support and how much support is given. We do not want children to become dependent on adult support so it is key to consider this when making decisions about the type of interventions required. The class teacher and learning support assistant (LSA), working with the child, as well as the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) will consider the needs of the child as well as the views of the child and parents. Occasionally outside support is sought and they will also have a perspective on this.
How can I find information about the Local Authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability?
Parents can find out about the local authority’s local offer of services and provision for children with SEN at